The Gothic horror tale is a literary form dating back to 1764 with the first novel identified with the genre, Horace Walpole's The Castle of Ontralto. Gothicism features an atmosphere of terror and dread: gloomy castles or mansions, sinister characters, and unexplained phenomena. Gothic novels and stories also often include unnatural combinations of sex and death. In a lecture to students documented by Frederick L. Gwynn and Joseph L. Blotner in Faulkner in the University: Class Conferences at the University of Virginia 1957-1958, Faulkner himself claimed that "A Rose for Emily" is a "ghost story." In fact, Faulkner is considered by many to be the progenitor of a sub-genre, the Southern gothic.
Gothic fiction is a genre of literature that combines fiction, horror and Romanticism with a particular focus on the mysterious and supernatural aspects. Gothic fiction originated in England during the latter half of the 18th century. This distinctive genre of literature soon developed into a 19th century phenomenon. The success of this dominant genre in England is frequently attributed to Mary Shelley. Despite its success during this time period, gothic fiction ceased to be a dominant genre by the Victorian Era.
Mary Shelley’s outstanding novel Frankenstein is a prime example of a Gothic novel because of the many characteristics of a Gothic novel that point it to being a Gothic work. The Gothic genre, or otherwise known as a Gothic romance, was a popular form of literature during the time that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Mary Shelley used the Gothic genre of Romantic literature in the writing of the novel Frankenstein. She a may have even been influenced by the Gothic structure, Castle Frankenstein, to write the Gothic novel Frankenstein (Williams 3). Gothic novels were a type of fiction that became popular in England during the 1700’s and early 1800’s (Dunn 279).
Tragic wanderers, ominous atmosphere, symbolism, and themes: these are elements of a Gothic novel. Though Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, written in the early 19th century, certainly contains many components of a Gothic novel, can it be correctly grouped under that genre? A definition of a Gothic novel; according to Tracy, is a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though the aspects of a novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme (De Vore, Domenic, Kwan and Reidy). As well, early Gothic novels have characterized themselves through the use of moral commitment and exotic atmosphere in their themes (Lowry 32).
Fictional literature can be categorized into many different genres: drama, romance, science fiction, tragedy, comedy, horror, and gothic. Gothic fiction borrows from horror by sampling mystery, dire setting, and chilling architecture. Romance is sampled in gothic fiction by the use of characters, firm emotions, and misguided love. Greenblatt writes, " Gothic became a label for the macabre, mysterious, supernatural, and terrifying, especially the pleasurably terrifying, in literature generally; the link that Romantic-period writers had forged between the Gothic and antiquated spaces was eventually loosened" (584). Horace Walpole wrote The Castle of Otranto in 1764.
The lurid tone of the novel is maintained through the core elements of the Gothic horror genre. Often, a Gothic novel slyly portrays the authors “repressed anxieties” (Galens, “A Study Guide” 191). Research shows that Frankenstein “reflected [Shelley’s] deepest psychological fears and insecurities, such as her inability to prevent her children’s deaths, her distressed marriage to a man who showed no remorse for his daughters’ deaths, and her feelings of inadequacy as a writer” (Galens, “A Study Guide” 191). Different aspects of Shelley’s tragic life immensely influence numerous features of the plot of her most famous work, Frankenstein. The death surrounding Shelley pulls her into a deep depression where she envisions a life with resurrection (Galens, “A study Guide” 181; Schoene-Harwood
Josh Barnette Honors English IV Mrs. Schroder 12/6/17 Frankenstein Essay Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was written in the early 19th century and contains many attributes of gothic characteristics in many different ways. Frankenstein carries many gothic characteristics, such as the mysterious and supernatural, the story taking place in a dark place, and the coming together of the mortal and the supernatural world. Shelley uses all of these gothic characteristics to her advantage when portraying the book as gothic and mysterious. Gothic Novels tend to focus on mysterious and supernatural things. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses strange circumstances for when Victor Frankenstein creates the monster.
Manuscript illuminations are text followed by decoration, usually gold. During the mid-18th century, literature took a new step having the first gothic novel, "The Castle of Otranto," first published in 1764. This novel was combined with a horror and mystery genre (Martindale). Gothicism began to be apart of churches by having stained glass windows and pictures of biblical people. The style of nudity from Adam and Eve was also portrayed to be gothic.
Death reeked all around her throughout her life. Her mother died giving birth to Mary and ever since Mary had blamed herself for the death of her mother and this is one of the many factors of her life that can be related to the novel disturbing story line. Her sister and her son William perished before her in along line of illness and disease. Chapter five starts with p... ... middle of paper ... ...entence also hints at what is to happen to Elizabeth as later on in the novel she is killed by the monster on there wedding night and in the sentence Mary Shelly has used the alliteration of "folds of the funnel" to emphasise the element of horror. Such descriptive words as shroud, grave-worms and corpse all create a sense of reality.
This raised many issues such as, should we have the right to play God? In the novel Mary Shelley writes about tragedy, death and romance. It was thought that perhaps many of the events in her life may have influenced the events in the story as she suffered a number of tragedies in her life, two of which where the premature deaths of her mother and son. In relation to the novel I think that this is very significant. This is significant because the character of Elizabeth relates to Mary Shelley in numerous ways: the first being that Elizabeth's mother dies as did Mary's when both girls were still young.